Have you heard of Idebenone? An antioxidant lower molecular weight analogue of coenzyme Q10, Idebenone evidently is effective in protecting against cell damage that would be caused by oxidative stress. Typically, this stress appears in a variety of methods that are biochemical, in vivo, and cell biological. It is also said to suppress sunburn cell formation that is in living skin.
There have been no clinical studies to determine Idebenone’s effectiveness for photodamaged skin in topical skincare formulations. However, a non-vehicle control study was undertaken which evaluated .5% and 1% idebenone commercial formulations for topical safety and efficacy in photodamaged skin.
There were 41 females with moderate photodamaged skin between the ages of 30-65 studied. These subjects were randomized to use a blind labelled skincare preparation of either .5% or 1% idebenone twice daily for six weeks. Both came with identical lotion bases.
At the baseline, three weeks, and six weeks, they were assessed by a blinded expert grader for fine lines/wrinkles, roughness/dryness, and overall photodamage improvement. At baseline and after six weeks, electrical conductance readings and 35 mm photography were done for skin surface hydration.
Not only that, but subjects who were randomly selected, had punch biopsies at baseline and after six weeks. The biopsies were stained using immunofluorescence microscopy for these specific antibodies: interleukin IL-6, interleukin IL-1b, matrix metalloproteinase MMP-1, and collagen I.
Results showed that after using the 1% idebenone formula for six weeks, there was a 26% reduction in skin roughness/dryness, a 29% reduction in fine lines/wrinkles, a 37% increase in skin hydration, and a 33% improvement in the overall assessment of photodamaged skin . After six weeks using the .5% idebenone formula, subjects saw a 23% reduction in skin roughness/dryness, a 27% reduction in fine lines/wrinkles, a 37% increase in skin hydration, and a 30% improvement in the overall assessment of photodamaged skin.
Results of the randomized immunofluorescence microscopy showed a decrease in IL-1b, IL-6, and MMP-1 and an increase in collagen I for both concentrations.